A clustered origin for isolated massive stars
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High-mass stars are commonly found in stellar clusters promoting the idea that their formation occurs due to the physical processes linked with a young stellar cluster. It has recently been reported that isolated high-mass stars are present in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Due to their low velocities it has been argued that these are high-mass stars which formed without a surrounding stellar cluster. In this paper we present an alternative explanation for the origin of these stars in which they formed in a cluster environment but are subsequently dispersed into the field as their natal cluster is tidally disrupted in a merger with a higher-mass cluster. They escape the merged cluster with relatively low velocities typical of the cluster interaction and thus of the larger scale velocity dispersion, similarly to the observed stars. N-body simulations of cluster mergers predict a sizeable population of low velocity (≤20 km s−1), high-mass stars at distances of >20 pc from the cluster. High-mass clusters in which gas poor mergers are frequent would be expected to commonly have halos of young stars, including high-mass stars, that were actually formed in a cluster environment.
Lucas , W E , Rybak , M , Bonnell , I A & Gieles , M 2018 , ' A clustered origin for isolated massive stars ' Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , vol 474 , no. 3 , pp. 3582-3592 . DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx2997
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
© 2017, the Author(s). This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx2997
WEL and IAB gratefully acknowledge support from the ECOGAL project, grant agreement 291227, funded by the European Research Council under ERC-2011-ADG. MR acknowledges funding from the Nadacia SPP grant No. 28/2013. MG acknowledges support from the Royal Society in the form of a University Research Fellowship (URF) and the European Research Council (ERC-StG-335936, CLUSTERS). This work used the compute resources of the St Andrews MHD Cluster.
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